Xian is one of the world’s most historic and dramatic cities, a treasure trove of ancient monuments and a culture stretching back to the heyday of the Silk Road. Travellers from Europe and across Asia gathered in Xian to trade and marvel in the imperial might of the Tang dynasty.
Visitors flock to Xian to see one of the great archaeological marvels of history, the breathtaking Terracotta Warriors. See this vast army dating back to 200 BC made to guard the tomb of Emperor Qin, a true bucket list sight.
Xian has a lot more to offer, as the terminus of the ancient Silk Road it has been a cultural melting pot for centuries, and visitors today can eat spicy central Asian inspired food, visit the Muslim quarter and take a walk on huge city walls between massive bell towers. To visit Xian is to experience a flavour of the ancient dynasties of the Chinese empire.
Being a large city and with many attractions indoors, the sights of Xian can be visited year-round. Spring and autumn are the best times to avoid a cold winter and humid summer months. However these seasons also bring a larger number of visitors, so coming out of season has its benefits.
The region around Xian and Shaanxi province is distinct from other parts of China owing to the historic influences of the Silk Road and the different cultures which have left their mark in the region. Possibly more than any city in China, Xian has a lively and easy to experience street food scene located around the Muslim quarter which has really blossomed in recent years.
Bang bang noodles, flatbreads with lamb, chilli dishes and delicious fresh dumpling dishes can all be tried. There also a profusion of local restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes. A distinct way to eat in China is to go to a Tang Dynasty show and dinner, a banquet of traditional food is served along side an elaborate and professional dance and theatre performance on the theme of the Tang Dynasty heyday of the city.
A Chinese visa is needed, to be obtained in advance from the Chinese Embassy offices in London, Manchester or Edinburgh. Find more advice at GOV.UK or at Chinese-embassy.org.uk with information on passports, visas and travel.